Before it was converted into a beautiful loft-style residence, this 19th-century warehouse in Melbourne housed a jam factory, an aerated water factory, an advertizing agency and an engineering consultancy. Thanks to a recent conversion by Andrew Simpson Architects, the two-story building, known as the Water Factory, now functions as a 440-square-meter (4305-square-foot) family home with daylit, flexible living spaces.
The Melbourne studio was faced with significant heritage constraints that limited the opportunities for altering the external envelope. The team focused on the interior and introduced a flexible layout with separate entrances for different members of the family.
The open-plan living spaces are located on the upper level, leaving the ground floor free for other uses. Most rooms feature flexible layouts and can be adjusted to offer more privacy. A centrally positioned staircase is accessible from both of the two ground floor rooms, which have separate entrances from the street. Behind a translucent doors at the rear of the property is the garage that stores the client’s red Ford Mustang car. Exposed ceiling trusses with sets of skylights dominate the interior, with a zigzagging part of the roof storing electrical and mechanical services.
“To draw light and ventilation into what is a poorly oriented and deep footprint, an extensive number of operable skylights were introduced on the north and south-facing roof pitches,” explained the architects, “and a large void connecting the ground and first floor was strategically positioned to also take advantage of this amenity.”
Photos by Shannon McGrath